Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
in the morning
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
women with good posture, elegant carriage
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
well groomed hair
4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?
in my 20's I saw a documentary about how poor people have to sift rivers to get gems. I have not bought jewelry since and have given almost all of what I acquired in the preceding years away.
in my 30's I started to care far more about personal style than what was in fashion.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
be completely serious about your wardrobe and never buy on impulse
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
there is no irony after 40.
dress your age
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
sadly, I have yet to have that conversation
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
no matter how big or dreary the project, start a little bit at a time
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
black linen skirts
comfortable, versatile, seasonal variations, easy care
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
i know many young interns in my business.
my family and friends used to give me pretty hair accessories, usually vintage or asian inspired and i never wore them. over the years i gave them all away to various interns that were younger, prettier and had better hair than i ever did. they appreciated a non mass produced thing, and i get a kick out of their happiness.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
one shoulder anything
clunky whore shoes
ridiculous fake white worn spots on jeans
animal prints EVER
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
neither my mother's body or lack of style has been passed down to me
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
both my friends have cheekbones - if i could steal them i would!
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
hit 40 - and if anyone reads this, which I doubt, I started wearing vintage which is a huge fashion no no.
However, i found the dress styles of the early 60's really looked good on my figure and were good office/professional without being costume-y.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
no fur - it's just a hideous cruelty
made in USA when i possibly can, I will not buy things made in China
16. Please describe your body.
short and curvy
36, 26, 38
17. Please describe your mind.
smart, funny beset by the hamster wheel of anxiety
18. Please describe your emotions.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
face - chapstick
hair - well groomed (very unusual)
body - white linen dress from 1958
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
clothes are personal theater, expression and disguise at the same time. They are the silent language.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
my 3 best friends, my youngest sister, my poor husband
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
when i had bad jobs that worked with the public, i dress drably.
now that i have a good job, it's all about style
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I have more taste than style. My physical appearance is sadly middle aged and rabbity looking, so I don't wear things that can overwhelm the greige skin and fading hair. Both taste and style are equally important. I admire people with bold style or a good sense of their personal style, but good taste is also a question of manners, speech, and actions. Style is wearing a really beautiful fun piece of statement costume jewelry. Taste is a string of pearls.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
A dress I bought in a panic for a christmas party
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
if you wear a small top with a big flowy or full skirt, people think you're thinner all over......
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
people love my house interior
27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?
i have 2 dresses that look really good. i wear them on the days i have to direct
28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?
I have had the purest faith in my judgement and discernment towards, books, art, fashion, decoration since I was 8 years old. I still have absolute faith and conviction in my opinions about everything having to do with art, fashion decoration, and design in general.
29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?
my mother taught me how to sew a button on properly. this still comes in handy.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
when i had long hair, i put it up into a bun
and if i wish to feel alluring, l wear lipstick
31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?
comfortable means i don't have the expression on my face as if my shoes pinched or i was worried.
confident means i know i'm doing a good job.
confident means knowing you are dressed exactly right for the occasion.
32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?
think about what you want people to think when they see you. My personal style philosophy:
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
for a person - kind eyes, poise, grace
clothing - swish, beautiful fabric, color, line
places - trees, open spaces, clean air, rivers and streams
houses - no clutter, colors that aren't drab or jarring
Things that are beautiful just by themselves:
34. What do you consider very ugly?
tight pants on either gender
more than 2 tattoos
clunky whore shoes
35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?
yes - though it took me 20 years to get here
oddly, i still don't know in advance if the purchase will become a wardrobe staple.
36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?
if i thought the above, i'd never leave the house
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
i have 5 work dresses, and they are assigned a day of the week. outdoor temperature dictates the addition of sweaters or scarfs.
38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
The rapture of feeling soignee
before 40, the envious compliments of other women
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
the difference is a slight increase in discomfort and the application of mascara and lipstick. i will also go to a salon to get my hair styled by professionals so i don't have to worry about it when i dress up
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
scoop- neck, navy 3/4 length sleeve fitted sheath of linen, with matching full length sleeve short jacket with a nicely folded collar
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
me - linen, cotton. things that are old fashioned, well tailored, retro.
complicated bathing suits
i could go on and on......
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
50/50 wasp and italian-american
i'm afraid it's all wasp all the time - except that i don't wear jewelry (well, a nice strand of pearls at christmas)
43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?
I have a feeling a lot of responses will begin thus:
IN THE 80's I wore a lot more flowy peasant skirts and shawls. what was pleasantly theatrical would only seem eccentric now.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
I wear my hair short
dresses that are fitted, rather than more comfortable full skirted
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
I wear dresses every day. All the other women wear pants. It is not the done thing to wear vintage after 40, but I do. I do not wear make-up
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
i would shun any activity that required that
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
may i never have to know
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?
white cotton shirt dress, 3/4 sleeves or sleeveless
I like the ease of the fabric. I have washed -out skin and colors that don't detract are hard to find. White is clean and simple, i feel the same way about black, and gray, but sadly, don't have the skin tone to stand up to them.
50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
ugly people have rights and opinons too , and i had better work on my character
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?
I used to collect vintage. i used to have a dream of walking into wonderful vintage clothing stores and seeing racks of spectacular clothing - and not having any money!
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?
bikini instead of tank
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
attract: intelligent funny people
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
between the ages of 20 - 30 HAVE FUN, even if you make mistakes
30-40 wear colors, there will be plenty of black later
40 - 50 eschew those super high spike heels, they make you look mean and stringy
50 plus - be comfortable deary, but no polyester pants or sweatshirts with cute sayings on them please.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
i love the idea of perfume, but can't wear it
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
if it made me look better, i'd wear it
since it doesn't, i don't bother
63. Is there a certain look you feel you’re expected to like that you have absolutely no interest in? What is it? Why aren’t you interested?
i could care less about shoes
also, women's eyes are supposed to fog over with desire when they think about or look at jewelry.
this is offensive to me. gems are boring
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
if your grandma wore it before 1970, I have it.
i will never shock your sensibilities
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
my favorite piece of clothing is a 1940's cotton housedress - the cut is extremely flattering and it's comfortable
my favorite piece of jewelry is the string of fake pearls i bought from sears with babysitting money in 1980. i still wear them
66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?
i have a merry widow - i don't wear it because i don't buy strapless - but
i keep it because YOU NEVER KNOW...
67. Looking back at all your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?
good blazers or jackets
a pair of louis heeled pumps in a rusty tan
black linen skirts
optic white blouse
my chaco hiking sandals
white sleeveless dresses
68. Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, but no longer own, and still think about or wish you had back? What was it, what happened to it, and why do you want it back?
I had the most DIVINE black sheer negligee with matching nightgown. I felt just like veronica lake in "I married a witch"
I got rid of it on ebay when i went through a financial bad patch. plus it had a 24 inch waist and i really had to diet into it most of the time.
but i think of it fondly and it's been a decade since i got rid of it.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
the white linen dress i'm wearing now
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
invest in good blazers and shoes
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
a high style jacket from 1950 in a cinnamon color. i wear it to funerals.
72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?
a decade ago I bought a vintage swimsuit. i looked silly in it. I realized I didn't care. I just liked it, and wore it.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
the dress that will make me look alluring
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
i have organizers in my top drawer. clothing is ranked by what I love being in the top 3 drawers, those which i do not in the lower 2. My closet is organized by color
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
my mother bought me a vintage apron from the 50's that i love
76. Did you ever buy an article of clothing without giving it much thought, only to have it prove much more valuable as time went on? What was the item and what happened?
weep with me now
I bought a fabulous lilli ann suit with smashing piping and shoulder trim. I looked bad in it (i'm short) and sold it to a vintage store for a song because ebay was invented a year later.
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
like ivory soap, but because proctor and gamble tests on animals, i use a cruelty free soap with some citrus in it
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
i dress for the executive position i want
80. How does money fit into all this?
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
when standing in line at the store, a young woman came up to me and said: "That is the perfect outfit."
I was wearing a black linen skirt, optic white close fitting top and sandals. it was the perfect outfit.
may blessings follow her all her life
83. Do you remember the first time you were conscious of what you were wearing? Can you describe this moment and what it was about?
it was the 70's and i was a child. i'd rather not think about it
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
my parents were teachers
What kind of work do you do?
i am an editor
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
married, no kids
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
boy do i hate being old
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
faintly joyous, i hope someone reads my answers